Presented on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 in the Barn at Quarry Farm. People are always surprised to learn that Mark Twain wrote a long book about Joan of Arc. They are even more surprised to hear that he said it was his best book. Better than Huckleberry Finn, written 14 years earlier? Probably no one today would agree with that view. So, what are we to think of Twain's judgement? Was he being provocative? Was he carried away with some enthusiasm? Or did he just make a big mistake? this lecture will look at the themes of the book and see if a case can't be made for Twain's opinion. That case has to center on the figure of Joan herself, who is depicted in the book as the greatest human being who ever lived.
David Foster is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Ashland University